Our Top 10 En Vogue Songs list takes a look at the r&b divas who rose to fame in the 90’s. They have sold more than 30 million albums in their career. They are considered one of the best female groups of all time. The group originally consisted of four female singers. The original members are Terry Ellis, Dawn Robinson, Cindy Herron and Maxine Jones.
They got their start when Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy wanted a girl group that was similar to the groups in the 50’s and 60’s. They wanted every female in En Vogue to be lead vocalists unlike the way the girl groups were in the past. The quartet auditioned for the group and made the cut.
En Vogue released their first album Born to Sing in 1990. The album peaked at number three on the r&b charts and number 21 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Hold On,” “Lies,” “Don’t Go” and “You Don’t Have to Worry.” All of these singles were number one on the r&b charts. This album won numerous awards. The album sold over three million copies.
En Vogue released their second album Funky Divas in 1992. It peaked at number eight on the Billboard 200 charts and number one on the r&b charts. It nearly doubled the amount of sales of their debut album. It features the singles “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It),” “Givin’ Him Something He Can Feel,” “Free Your Mind,” “Give It Up Turn It Loose” and “Love Don’t Love You.” The album sold more than five million copies.
In 1996, they released the single “Don’t Let Go (Love)” for the movie Set It Off. It became the group’s biggest hit single. Things should have been looking up for the group, but they faced a hurdle. Robinson decided to leave the group in 1997 while they were recording their next album. She left because contractual negotiations fell through. The rest of the group decided to become a trio.
They released EV3 in 1997. They had to re-record the album after Robinson left the group. The album debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 and r&b charts. It features the singles “Don’t Let Go (Love),” “Whatever” and “Too Gone, Too Long.” The album sold over one million copies.
They released their fourth album Masterpiece Theater in 2000. The album peaked at 33 on the r&b charts and number 67 on the Billboard 200 charts. The album did better overseas than in the U.S. It features the single “Riddle.”
In 2001, Jones left the group to spend more time with her daughter. Herron and Ellis wanted to keep performing so they added a new member to the group. Amanda Cole became part of the group. They released a Christmas album in. 2002. Cole left the group in 2004 because she felt limited vocally and wanted a solo career. Rona Bennett joined the group when Cole left.
The trio released their next album Soul Flower in 2004. The album debuted at 47 on the r&b charts and number 15 on the Independent charts. It features the singles “Losin’ My Mind” and “Ooh Boy.”
They released the album Electric Café in 2018. They released the album from their own label. It features the singles “I’m Good,” “Have a Seat” and “Rocket.” “Rocket” was the group’s first top 10 r&b hit in over 20 years.
En Vogue made their mark in r&b music. They managed to have crossover appeal. They basically became an overnight success with the release of their debut album. They faced obstacles that could have made them give up, but they didn’t. They have several hit singles that could have easily made this list. This Top 10 En Vogue Songs list will feature their hit songs.
# 10 – Lies
The first song on our Top 10 En Vogue Songs list is the anthemic “Lies” from the Born to Sing album. This song has an r&b, dance and new jill sound. This song is a cautionary tale about people lying. The funky divas give a break down on the people who will lie to you. This song is a warning to watch out for them. They warn people about lying in their classy and diva-like way. Robinson and Herron take the lead on this track. Robinson is in the song the most. She is given the chance to shine vocally. Jones and Ellis do the ad libs on the track.
This song proved that all of the ladies could handle singing lead. They harmonize well with each other. The music is funky and great for dancing. It has a impressive instrumental bass groove and masterful guitar riffs. The music is arranged to please fans of multiple genres of music. This is the second single from the Born to Sing album and a contrast to their first single “Hold On.”
# 9 – Give It Up Turn It Loose
The next song on our Top 10 En Vogue Songs list is “Give It Up Turn It Loose” from the Funky Divas album. This song has an r&b, pop and new jack sound. This is a “girlfriend anthem” about looking out for a friend who is in a bad relationship. They are giving their friend sisterly advice about giving up the guy who is doing her wrong. This is a relatable song for females who see their friends suffering in bad relationships. It is the prehistoric “Girl” by Destiny’s Child. The music has a smooth old school sound.
The melody of the song sounds similar to Cheryl Lynn’s “Got To Be Real” and DeBarge’s “I Like It.” The music has classy flutes and a funky guitar beat that is sure to please fans of pop and r&b music. The music has a laid back sound to it. The song starts off like “Yesterday” by the Beatles and then the beat starts. It does have needless talking in the beginning, but it doesn’t hurt the song. Once they start harmonizing, you can forget about the talking. This funky track features Jones singing lead. It gives her a chance to strut her stuff on the mic. The rest of the group has stellar harmonies in the background.
# 8 – Whatever
This sultry song is from the EV3 album. This song has an r&b and hip-hop soul sound. This is a song about frustrated desire. They are describing how much they want the guy. It is a dark and sexy song. This song is a different sound for the group. This is a funkier song than the ones they recorded in the past. This isn’t a typical Babyface penned track. This is the first song En Vogue recorded without Robinson. The trio didn’t lose their harmonies without her.
They didn’t miss a beat when it came to their harmonies. The music is rhythmic. The drumbeat is infectious. This is a mid tempo track with a catchy hook. The hook will stay in your head long after you have heard it. The bridge is impressive and really showcases their harmonies. Ellis holds notes and does runs towards the end of the song that are not to be missed.
# 7 – My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)
This sassy song is from the Funky Divas album. This song has a dance pop, new jack, r&b and funk sound. This is an audacious song about a man who screws up and she refuses to be with him. A lot of women deal with this situation. They don’t want to deal with a man who won’t change. This song has a lot of attitude and determination. She is not going to be with him anymore despite how much he begs. This song is geared towards female empowerment.
This song features a sample of James Brown’s song “Payback.” It is the backbone of the music. The song has a catchy hook. It has a mind-blowing a cappella breakdown in the bridge. The bridge shows the women uniting together. Robinson and Jones take the lead on this track. They both sound sassy and command your attention as they are letting their guys know that they won’t put up with their mess. Herron and Ellis provide amazing harmonies in the background.
# 6 – Giving Him Something He Can Feel
This seductive song is from the Funky Divas album. This song has an r&b and soul sound. This is a sultry song about a woman trying to seduce a guy. This is a cover song originally recorded by Aretha Franklin. This song is reminiscent of the way old school girl groups used to have one singer perform the songs. Robinson sings lead on the track while the other ladies provide the background vocals. Robinson sounds seductive and smoky in this ballad. The rest of the divas provide their signature harmonies in the background.
This song shows that they are the true divas of r&b and pop music. The music has a classic Motown feel to it with the finger-snapping beat. En Vogue doesn’t stray too far from the original version of the song, but this version sounds more soulful and sophisticated than the original. They took a chance singing a song that was a hit for Aretha Franklin, but they showed they were up for the challenge. They manage to make this song their own.
# 5 – Free Your Mind
The next song on our Top 10 En Vogue Songs list is “Free Your Mind” from the Funky Divas album. This song has a hard rock, new jack swing and hip-hop sound. This is a social song about racism and stereotypes. The lyrics command that you “free your mind” to racism. This is a stray from their other tracks. They usually sing songs about relationships so it was a nice change to hear them sing something with a deep message. The subject is still an issue in the world today so it is still relevant years later. The music is sexy and provocative.
The driving guitar solo is worth a listen. It gives the song a rock edge. The ladies do an excellent job discussing racism with a fiery passion. The things they mention lyrically are eye opening. They all take turns singing lead in this song. All of the ladies tell different stories about racism and stereotypes. They all sound strong and passionate. They have control over their voices and were able to project over the roaring guitar riffs.
# 4 – Hold On
This emotional song is from the Born to Sing album. This song has an r&b and new jack sound. This is the song that introduced the world to En Vogue. This is a yearning song about them wishing they devoted more time to their relationship instead of being needy. It is the answer to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles “Who’s Lovin’ You.” “Who’s Lovin’ You” is about a guy who never appreciated his woman until she was gone. “Hold On” is En Vogue’s version of the same thing.
The song starts off with Ellis singing the a cappella version of “Who’s Lovin’ You.” As soon as she starts the song, you are immediately hooked to it. She uses her gospel roots to the best of her ability. Herron and Ellis take the lead on this track. They both sound amazing in this song. This is a timeless track. It is sexy and gentle and will command your attention until the end. En Vogue has tight harmonies with a touch of sass.
# 3 – Don’t Go
This romantic song is from the Born to Sing album. This song has an r&b sound. This is a sensual song about a woman not wanting her man to leave. She still cares for him and doesn’t want him to leave. Ellis sings lead on this song. She was the perfect choice to sing lead on this song. She showcases her strong vocals throughout the song. Her soprano voice was perfect for the sensual music. She sells the song flawlessly. She sings the song passionately. She has incredible runs and holds impressive notes. She holds notes towards the end that will give you chills. She holds a note that is reminiscent of Mariah Carey’s signature operatic note. The rest of En Vogue do a tremendous job supporting her in the background. Their harmony is fierce and on point. This isn’t one of En Vogue’s signature songs, but it is just as good as the others.
# 2 – Don’t Let Go Love
This romantic song is from the Set It Off soundtrack as well as the EV3 album. This song has an r&b, pop rock and adult contemporary sound. This is a love song about the characters in the movie. This is the last song they performed with Robinson. It is also their biggest hit single and it’s easy to see why. The song features all of En Vogue singing in it. Robinson sings the majority of the song. Jones sings the bridge. Herron sings a verse in the bridge. Ellis does the outro lyrics. It gives all of the divas a chance to sing lead.
They are one of the rare groups that allow all of the singers to shine. The harmonies are instantly recognizable. The ladies sing the song with sass and attitude. This is a more mature sound for them. It will please fans of r&b, hip-hop and adult contemporary music. The music is the co-star of the song. It is just as good as the vocals. The guitar riffs give the song an impressive rock edge. This song could have easily been number one on this list.
# 1 – Too Gone Too Long
We have come to the number one song on our Top 10 En Vogue Songs list. The number one song on the list is “Too Gone Too Long” from the EV3 album. This song has an r&b and pop sound. This is a break up song about her dismissing an ex-boyfriend. He wants to get back together with her, but she’s not interested in being with him. Diane Warren wrote the perfect song for them. This is in their wheelhouse. David Foster did an amazing job with the arrangement. It blends pop and r&b music beautifully. The music is soft and sensual.
All of the ladies sing lead in this track. Herron and Ellis sing the lead vocals while Jones sings the bridge. They all slay in this song. They all sound powerful and turn this song into a typical Diane Warren power ballad after the bridge. Ellis’ voice in particular will take you to church when she holds the power note after the bridge. This is a very underrated song considering how incredible it is. This song is flawless. Everything about this song works from the untouchable singing to the phenomenal music. This song is an extravaganza and is the best choice to be number one on our list.
Top 10 En Vogue Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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